Everybody knows that the files and folders you delete in Windows aren't really deleted from your hard drive, at least not right away. Even when you empty the Recycle Bin, the files aren't overwritten until Windows needs the disk space. You can download many free utilities that offer secure file deletion, such as My Portable Software's Free File Wiper. It's portable freeware that offers multiple secure deletion methods, context menu integration, and drag-and-drop simplicity.
Free File Wiper is so simple that it opened the first time with its Help file displayed just so we'd know something happened (or so it seemed, though maybe the developers were just being helpful). We had to look in the corner by the System Tray to find the program's icon, a small blue trash can. Right-clicking the icon produced a menu with many options, including deletion method, transparency, startup behavior, and the ability to integrate the program with the Send To menu in Windows Explorer. This option is selected by default, and it proved a quick way to purge files without having to deal with emptying the Recycle Bin. The program pops up with a warning that deleted files will be unrecoverable. Free File Wiper offers four levels of wiping with between 1 and 7 passes: Quick, Normal, Secure, and Maniacal. The Maniacal method didn't seem to take any longer than the Quick method, at least with typical file sizes. Larger archives took longer to delete, no matter which method we tried, but that's to be expected. No trace of our deleted files remained.
With simple, compact, and free tools like Free File Wiper available, it makes no sense to compromise your safety and security by failing to delete the files and folders you thought you were deleting. Think of it like a paper shredder for your PC: any documents containing personal information you'd like to keep personal should be destroyed. Free File Wiper runs from any location, including USB drives, so it can protect you on the go, too.